While I love my organic produce, it can be an added expense for the growing family. In such an economic crunch as we’re in now, you may find yourself feeling guilty for passing the organic stuff by, but there are twelve fruits and vegetables you don’t have to feel bad about buying just because it’s not organic. Avoiding pesticides whenever possible is always best, but when you have to cut back on the grocery bill, here are the top twelve fruits and veggies to reach for:
Sweet Corn (frozen)
Sweet Peas (frozen)
Some of these items have thick skins, therefore keeping the pesticide out of the fruit. But the biggest common factor here is the fact that they all have the lowest pesticide load. Since they tend to be more resistant to pests, fewer chemicals are needed for growth. Why does the sweet corn and sweet peas (frozen) need fewer pesticides? Apparently, the washing and blanching process used to prepare them for freezing eliminates 80 – 90% of the pesticides, according to the U.S. based National Food Processors Association.
Keep this list handy; another good money saving tip to help you lower your grocery bill while keeping the family healthy during the economic crunch.
I do keep certain eco-friendly cleaners around the house for tough jobs, but for all the everyday stuff like wiping down counters, cleaning mirrors, and general disinfecting, I prefer vinegar water. When it comes to household cleaning, the best money saving tip I can think of to help the frugal mommy has got to be white vinegar.
I purchased a few spray bottles several years ago – one for each bathroom and one for the kitchen. I mix about 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 purified water. For a little extra cleaning power (and to make it smell better), I add a few drops of sweet orange oil. Shake the bottle well and start cleaning! There is very little that can’t be cleaned with this simple spray. I even manage to get stains out of our very white Berber carpet (which was here when we moved – who’s idea was that?!?) If you have tough stains, say on your stovetop, you can sprinkle a little baking soda on after spraying the surface down and scrub most stuck-on stuff right off.
When you purchase white vinegar, make sure it’s made from grains as opposed to being produced using petroleum based methods. At this point I’ve been using Heinz; my understanding has been this is a safe one to purchase. I buy big jugs at Costco and that one jug will last months for cleaning and cooking. As I said, this has got to be one of the best money saving tips I can think of for household cleaning – not to mention chemical free!
I have yet to get rid of a single article of baby clothing. My son is almost three, and since I’m a major bargain shopper, he’s always had mounds of clothes. So now those mounds of clothes have become boxes of clothes – and loss of a whole corner of the basement. I have to guess many of you are in the same situation. Perhaps you just haven’t been ready to part with sentimental ties, but perhaps in this economic crunch, selling some unused baby stuff would help get the family by. Or maybe you’d like to purchase some gently used items rather than breaking out the wallet for the inflated prices of new stuff. Hand-Me-Downs.com is today’s Money Saving Tip for the Frugal Mom.
Hand-Me-Downs.com allows parents to shop by region to find the best deals on gently used baby and child items; it also gives parents the opportunity to list their used items for free, or at low cost for premium listings. This clean, well organized site is one to bookmark for certain. Better yet, register with them and you could win a $629 Bugaboo Frog Stroller!
More features on Hand-Me-Downs.com include classifieds offering free items and information on charities where parents may choose to donate their items. Soon, parents will even be able to bid on celebrity hand-me-downs, including items already waiting in the wings from Nicole Richie, with the proceeds going to charity.
Overall, this site is a real winner, whether you’re in need of items, spare cash, or just the basement space. We’ve been really focused on eliminating unused items in our house, trying to take a more minimalist approach (and gain some breathing room!) so I’ll be registering at Hand-Me-Downs.com right away. I can’t use a Bugaboo Frog Stroller anymore, but if I win I’ll be sure to pass it on to one of you! Because giving is one of the biggest money saving tips this frugal mom can think of.
Almost everyone has a kitchen sponge. Most of us aren’t able to afford a natural sponge, and many of us have ethical issues on that respect anyway; so how can you avoid going through manmade sponges like water? I gave up on sponges altogether for awhile – it seemed they were loaded with smelly germs only a few days after opening them anyway! So what’s the next of the Money Saving Tips for the Frugal Mom today? We discovered something in our house recently.
We used to buy those prepackaged sponges that come a little damp and claim to repel bacteria. I found this wasn’t true at all. Instead we started shopping for our sponges in the car wash section of our local store. We’re able to get a large very cheap sponge for about $1.50. It gets cut in about three or four chunks, and we’re able to use it for not days or weeks, but a couple of months before it’s just too tired to perform. Then off to the recycling bin. Funny thing is, our untreated sponge doesn’t smell funky, ever! Ironic, isn’t it? The chemicals dumped on the kitchen sponge, chemicals I don’t want, are advertised to lengthen the usage of the sponge. Yet it shortens it considerably.
Another hint I’d offer is to use kitchen washcloths for regular tasks (such as Skoy) and save the sponge for the tougher jobs. Saves on waste and sponge purchasing! Very simple money saving tip, but effective. Our $1.50 will last us about 6 – 8 months! Frugal moms everywhere, unite and save some dough!
There’s something about a poor economy that makes us all start grabbing our wallets a little tighter, isn’t there? But how do you stay green while saving green? I know many people view natural alternatives as being the more expensive choice, but they’re not always. In many cases, choosing a natural alternative can be much, much cheaper. I’ll be focusing on several money saving tips in the days to come. Be sure to check the Money Saving Tips category; better yet, bookmark it! I’ve got some good stuff lined up. Today is a quick tip on saving money on those great natural shampoos.
I love all-natural shampoos, and I’m always searching for the best ones to review and give away. But they can be more expensive. How to make them last longer? Simple. Most products these days are pretty concentrated. Next time you empty that shampoo bottle, rinse it well and add just a few squirts from the new bottle of shampoo. Mix it with water. You may need to experiment with how much to add. I’ve added a lot before, taking just a squirt and putting as much as 1/2 cup of water in the bottle with it. Giving it a good shake adds so much sudsing power you’ll be surprised! Since many all-natural shampoos don’t suds as much as their chemical-laden counterparts, this is an excellent way to get the most out of the best.
Also remember, it’s not necessary to wash your hair with shampoo every day. If you’re using natural shampoos, they don’t contain the chemicals commercial shampoos use to make your hair feel greasy so you use more product! (Yes, they do that.) So try washing your hair every other day, or alternating with a vinegar/water mix. (Cider vinegar brings out the red highlights, fellow Irish girls!)
Check back for more money saving tips! And if you’ve got your own frugal mom ideas that celebrate the green, all-natural lifestyle, leave a comment here or drop me an email at themommyspot(at)gmail(dot)com. I’d love to hear about them!